SHIVAMOGGA: Fifteen persons were booked for raping a 15-year-old girl for four months at a village near Sringeri in Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka. The police have registered a case against the accused as well as the girl's aunt for conniving with the accused.
The accused have been identified as Small Abhi, Girish Anegunda, Vikas, Manikanta, Sampath, Ashwathgowda, Rajesh, Amith, Santhosh, Deekshith, Santhosh, Niranjan, Nayana Gowda, Abhigowda and Yogeesh.
According to the FIR registered by the Sringeri police, apart from the mentioned accused, other people had also raped the girl and the police have launched a manhunt to nab all the culprits.
Chikkamagaluru Child Welfare Committee chairman Subramanya G told The New Indian Express that the girl, who lost her mother in her childhood, was looked after by her uncle till she finished her 7th standard in Haveri district. The girl's father married another woman and the girl was brought to Sringeri by her aunt who is a relative of her mother. She was living with her aunt and uncle.
According to the police, the accused were blackmailing the survivor that they would share her pictures on social media if she failed to cooperate with them.
Later when the assault came to the aunt's notice, she cooperated with the accused. The police have registered a case under section 4 (sexual assault), section 5 (using the child for pornographic purposes) and section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act POCSO Act. The police also registered cases under various sections of IPC, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Immoral Traffic Prevention Act and Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016.